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Saturday, February 24, 2001 -- St. Albans, WV
Sunbridge 5K
Story and photos by George Gannon

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class] [Pic Set 1]

St. Albans
The early morning streets of St. Albans belong to the runners
Ben Luckowski, a track star for the St. Albans High School Red Dragons, was not going to let anybody come on to his home turf and try to show him how to run in his hometown. But, as he soon learned, the competition was fierce at the Sunbridge 5K and "home field" advantage was only going to get him so far. On a brutally cold Saturday morning, the runners had to navigate a tricky out and back course that snakes through St. Albans, a route that Luckowski trains on.

When the gun at the Loop in St. Albans fired and the racers were off, the pack was tight. Luckowski was out of the gates fast, but other course veterans, like Glenn Baldwin, Dan Connelly, and Justin Waybright were right behind and were fully aware of the ins and outs of downtown St. Albans.

Luckowski, with racing skill that goes far beyond his age, got in front of the pack and never looked back. He finished with a mind-boggling time of 16:15.

When asked about his success, Luckowski replied that he was training for the upcoming track season and that this was his best time for 2001.

Race Pic
A sprint to the finish is all that separates generations
"It's a good course," said the winner "It's flat and fast. I run it everyday." With a time like that, it's no surprise.

Only of the pace by a few seconds was another course vet. Glenn Baldwin (16:32) of South Charleston had been on the course many times and was fully aware of the obstacles in front of him.

Baldwin echoed Luckowski's sentiments, saying that the course was "flat and fast" Baldwin also liked that there were so many people who braved the early morning start and cold temps to get out and run. "I like it when there are a lot of people, it keeps you moving."

Rounding out the top three was Dan Connelly, with a strong time of 17:25

The ladies, however, were not going to be upstaged by the men. Sue McGee (19:13) put in a great time in taking the top spot for the women. Connie Young (20:10), a course veteran, took the number two spot. Rounding out the top three, and pulling in at just a shade over 20 minutes, was Barbara Kuhlemeir.

After the race, the runners were treated to some well-deserved refreshments.

An iPlayOutside shout goes to race director James Shock (and to all of you who were kind enough to bear this reporter because my camera broke during the race!)